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Keyword: executive order

Workgroup to Offer Recommendations, Bring Greater Transparency and Accountability to Law Enforcement

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today issued an executive order announcing the formation of the Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing, which will examine policing policies and practices and make recommendations for ensuring equitable policing in Baltimore County.  

The Baltimore County Police Department collects and reports data related to traffic stops annually to the Maryland Statistical Analysis Center (MSAC). A review of 2018 data (PDF) shows that African-American individuals were issued citations at a rate higher than other individuals. While the data does not necessarily indicate bias or discrimination, the County Executive and Police Chief Melissa Hyatt believe the data merit thorough examination.

First-of-its-Kind Workgroup

The first-of-its-kind workgroup will examine current policies, practices, and training related to equitable policing in Baltimore County and offer recommendations to ensure equitable policing practices and bring greater transparency and accountability to law enforcement.

“Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly day in and day out to keep our communities safe, and I am grateful for their dedicated service. We also have a moral obligation to ensure accountable, equitable, and just law enforcement that serves all residents,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Today we are taking steps to provide a closer look at our data, promote fairness, improve accountability and build a safer, stronger county.”

“This work group is an opportunity for us to increase communication and transparency in Baltimore County.  Every day and every night our officers are out in our communities patrolling in an effort to keep everyone safe,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “We owe it to the members of our community to ensure that we are utilizing our resources in the most effective way.  I look forward to being a part of this important discussion.”

Responsibilities of the Workgroup

The newly announced workgroup will:

  • Review and analyze data provided to the Maryland Statistical Analysis Center;
  • Collect and analyze additional data from the Baltimore County Police Department;
  • Analyze benchmarking data from other political subdivisions and comparable jurisdictions across the country;
  • Review current written orders and manuals relevant to traffic and person stops;
  • Meet with command staff and officers in the Police Department to examine how current policing practices and principles may be influencing the data;
  • Review training and supervision that Police Officers receive with respect to implicit bias in policing; and
  • Review national best practices with respect to equitable policing, traffic and person stop practices and policies, training and supervision.

Workgroup Members

Chaired by Baltimore County’s newly-named Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Troy Williams, the workgroup consists of a diverse array of talented and knowledgeable individuals, including: 

  • Crystal Francis, Community Representative
  • Tony Fugett, Baltimore County NAACP
  • Councilman Julian Jones, Baltimore County Council, District 4
  • Omer Reshid, Student Member of the Baltimore County Board of Education, Youth Representative
  • Colonel Robert McCullough, Baltimore County Police Department
  • Anthony Russell, President, Blue Guardians
  •  Scott Shellenberger, State’s Attorney
  • John Skinner, Professor of Criminal Justice, Towson University
  • Delegate Charles Sydnor
  • Cole Weston, Fraternal Order of Police
  • Chief Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore County Police Department (ex-officio)
  • Drew Vetter, Baltimore County Deputy Administrative Officer (ex-officio)

”I am honored to help lead this work group and committed to taking swift action to carry out the County Executive’s charge to review the data and identify actionable recommendations that will ensure equitable policing across Baltimore County,” said Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Troy Williams.

Workgroup Tasks

The Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing will host two public input sessions to receive public comment. Dates and times for these public input sessions will be forthcoming.

The Workgroup will issue a draft report and recommendations no later than July 2020, which shall be posted online for public comment. Following public input, the Workgroup will issue a final report no later than August 2020.

“Communities are safest when police and residents can trust each other,” Delegate Charles Sydnor said. “I’m thankful County Executive Olszewski is leading on this issue and convening this workgroup to thoroughly investigate these concerns and to affirm that trust.”

“We have a responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure Baltimore County is safe for all of our residents,” Councilman Jones said. “I’m looking forward to serving on this workgroup and working collaboratively and ensure equitable policing in every community across Baltimore County.”

The full text of Executive Order 2019-001 (Baltimore County Workgroup on Equitable Policing) is available for review.


We Continue To Stand With Our Immigrant Communities     

"Baltimore County has long been committed to welcoming our immigrant neighbors, and I want to assure all County residents that our commitment stands. The Executive Order signed by County Executive Kamenetz in 2017 remains in effect, ensuring that County agencies will not discriminate against any person based on their national origin, that no police officer will inquire about an individual’s immigration status for the purpose of initiating immigration proceedings and that individuals in our criminal justice system will not be detained beyond their court ordered release date. Our police department will not provide any assistance during immigration enforcement raids, nor will the department assist with any civil or administrative actions. Our diversity is our greatest strength and Baltimore County continues to stand with our immigrant communities.”


Commission to Recommend Improvements, Opportunities for Public Engagement

On his first day in office, County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. issued an Executive Order creating a new blue ribbon commission tasked with studying the County budget process. The commission will recommend changes to improve fiscal sustainability, while identifying opportunities for enhanced transparency and increased public engagement in the budgeting process.

“Given current economic concerns, this group of fiscal and policy experts will put fresh eyes on the County’s budgeting process and priorities in a way that follows national best practices and opens up financial decision-making to public input like never before,” said Olszewski. 

The seven-member Commission on Fiscal Sustainability will consist of four voting members appointed by the County Executive and three voting members appointed by the County Council. The volunteer members will serve one-year terms at the pleasure of the County Executive. The commission is charged with studying the County’s budget in detail and identifying deficiencies and improvements, as well as suggesting changes to significantly improve transparency and boost community engagement in the budgeting process.

The County Executive has charged the commission with issuing interim recommendations to him and the County Council by February 15, 2019, in time to be considered as part of the FY 20 budget cycle. Final recommendations are due by May 15, 2019.

Public Meetings and Online Access to Foster Transparency, Invite Feedback

Olszewski also announced today that he is directing the County’s budget and information technology departments to quickly execute a plan to release budget information online for County residents to review and consider. Prior to releasing his first budget proposal, the newly elected County Executive committed to working with every member of the County Council to host public forums called “Cabinet in the Community” meetings where members of the public may interact directly with County officials to discuss budget priorities and weigh options.

“In order to best serve the families and businesses of Baltimore County, we need to reach out in meaningful ways to find out what matters most to people,” Olszewski said. “We plan to work collaboratively with all stakeholders so that we can overcome our challenges and build a better Baltimore County for everyone.”

The text of the Executive Order is below:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

No. 2018-005

BALTIMORE COUNTY COMMISSION ON FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY

            Whereas, making government more transparent and accountable to all residents of Baltimore County is a central priority of this Administration; and

            Whereas, Moody’s downgraded the County’s credit outlook from “Stable” to “Negative” in February 2018, and Fitch identified several risks to the County’s rating in March 2018;

            Whereas, there is an emerging consensus among economists that the slowing global economy could have adverse consequences on the American economy in the next year;

            Whereas, Baltimore County must address its existing fiscal challenges and develop sustainable budgeting practices amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

            Now, therefore, it is this 3rd day of December, 2018, by the County Executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, ordered that the Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall be created and charged as follows:

Section I: Membership, appointment, terms of office, officers, and compensation of members.

  1. Membership. The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall consist of seven voting members. Four of the members shall be appointed by the County Executive, and three of the members shall be appointed by the County Council.
  2. Terms. The term of a member appointed under subsection A of this section is one year. Members of the Commission shall receive no salaries but shall be reimbursed for all expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties in accordance with appropriations approved by the County Council. All members of the Commission appointed by the County Executive shall serve at the pleasure of the County Executive. All members of the Commission appointed by the County Council shall serve at the pleasure of the County Council. At the end of a term, a member continues to serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
  3. Chair. The Chair of the Commission shall be selected by a majority of its members.

Section II: Meetings, quorums.

  1. Meetings. The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall meet at the request of the Chair as frequently as required to perform its duties, but not less than once every month.
  2. Quorum. A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and an affirmative vote of the majority of those present at any meeting shall be sufficient for any official action.

Section III: Duties and Responsibilities.

The Baltimore County Commission on Fiscal Sustainability shall perform the following duties:

  • Study the Baltimore County budget, identify deficiencies, and formulate recommendations for improvement;
  • Study the Baltimore County budget process and identify opportunities for greater transparency and increased public engagement;
  • Issue interim recommendations to the County Executive and County Council not later than February 15, 2019; and
  • Issue final recommendations to the County Executive and County Council not later than May 15, 2019.

Section IV: Staff Assistance.

Staff assistance shall be provided by the Department of Budget and Finance and the Baltimore County Executive’s Office.

This Executive Order shall take effect immediately according to its terms.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017